I’m feeling a bit smug right now.

Why? Well, a person I really admire over on the RfM message boards posted something highly interesting regarding some doctrine in LDS scripture that contradicts literally ALL of their involvement in backing California’s Proposition 8.

Now, anyone who knows anything about the Prop 8 battle is quite aware that the Mormon church and its members donated literally MILLIONS of dollars to make sure that their “definition” of marriage became constitutional law in the state of California, thereby denying gay and lesbian couples their right to marry. In a very subversive way, members were threated with their eternal salvation, citing a covenant all worthy members promise in the temple, if they didn’t donate all the money and time they could afford to ensure the proposition would pass. With the help of highly-paid accountants, they (the Church) were able to whitewash a lot of the money that was donated as something else so they wouldn’t be in danger of losing their 501(c)3 non-profit status for spending all that money backing a political referendum.

So why the sudden onslaught of Smug rising up in me? Well, the evidence speaks for itself. Right now, I would like to quote directly from one of the keystone books of scripture in the Mormon faith, The Doctrine & Covenants. Specifically, D&C Section 134, verses 4 & 9, and it should come pretty clearly:

4: We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others… the civil magistrate should…never control conscience; should…never suppress the freedom of the soul.

9: We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

Please take a few moments with that passage and really let it sink in.

Now, the Doctrine & Covenants was compiled and written back in the 19th century, when Ol’ Joe Smith was first setting up his church and its dogma. The Mormons were quite literally chased out of nearly every area they tried to settle, a lot of times with guns and torches and the whole bit. They didn’t believe the government should give special rights and privileges to one certain religion over another. Fine. I respect that. That’s written in the United States Constitution. But, as the sentences I put in bold typeface very clearly point out, it is LDS doctrine, thus handed down by God Himself, that religion should have absolutely no business meddling in civil government, which is exactly what they did when Prop 8 was put on the ballot in November of 2008.

Now, it would be quite easy for the leadership of the LDS church to rationalize what they did: “Well the church itself didn’t actually donate money, it was the members, of their own free will. All we did was just state that our doctrine about marriage is one man and one woman.”

Right. So, based on the following, Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do:

SALT LAKE CITY 30 June 2008 The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008:

Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families 

In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2 008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters.

The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.

A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

Free will, eh? Just to reiterate: We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman.

That is the sentence that invokes one of the temple covenants: To give “means and time” when called upon to do so. Like I said, it’s subtle, yet powerful, spirtual extortion.

The irony of this whole thing is delicious to me. LDS doctrine specifically says that religion should not interfere with civil politics, but that doctrine is conveniently ignored when it serves the church’s purpose. As previously pointed out in another post, it’s the same kind of thing when Christians love to spout the passages in Leviticus that forbid homosexuality, but the part about stoning whores and the abomination of eating shrimp are no longer relevant.

For a religion that suffered as much persecution for their beliefs at the inception of their religion, the Mormons sure are delighted to turn around and shit on other groups of people that don’t agree with them. They may not be chasing us with guns and knives, forcing us across the country in covered wagons, but to me, what they are doing is almost worse because it’s sneaky and underhanded. If you’re going to hate us, at least have the balls to hate us to our faces instead of glossing over your hatred with sonnets declaring love for the homosexual people, BUT. There’s always the BUT. And it’s always a HUGE BUT. At least the people that persecuted you were forthcoming about it. Trying to secretly use money and political influence to put pressure on voters to amend the constitution to exclude a large group of people because their way of life isn’t compatible with your ideas of what God wants or doesn’t want is bigotry. Ignoring your own “sacred doctrine” when it doesn’t fit into your agenda is hypocrisy. Doing these things in the name of love is hatred. Jesus called. He wants his religion back.

Now drink your juice, Shelby.